We Are Called To Suffer for Christ
And whoever doesn’t take up his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me.” – Matthew 10:38
In fact, all those who want to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” – 2 Timothy 3:12
- Good news – you have become a servant of Christ.
- Bad news – you have become a servant of Christ.
If you choose to follow Christ, expect even greater difficulties than before. “Then what’s the point?” you ask. “After all, this world offers many pleasures and good times. Party hearty. Wine, women, and song. Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow you may die. The Bible and Christianity are kill-joys. Wasn’t religion created by men to allow them to take my money, control my life, and force me to live by some ancient code of conduct from the middle ages?” Well, if Christianity is indeed a lie, then the Apostle Paul, who wrote nearly one half of the New Testament, would agree with you. As he said, “If we have put our hope in Christ for this life only, we should be pitied more than anyone.”
But as you will see in the Bible studies in this web site, the evidence for the existence of God is overwhelming, the validity of the Bible is irrefutable, and the Christian faith is the gold standard for success of individuals, families and nations. But you have to be willing to “take up your cross and follow Jesus.” And the cross isn’t mere ancient jewelry, it was an instrument of brutal capital punishment. And the thought of having that level of commitment is where many people choose not to serve Him.
Start Living for Eternity Now
If you set your sights on eternal life with Christ instead of the temporary pleasures of this life, it will all be worth it in the end. But there will definitely be moments in this life…! So no false advertising on this web site. May what is written here help you realize that you MUST make a choice. The easy road is wide, but leads to destruction. The narrow path may be difficult, but leads to eternal joy. As Joshua admonished the children is Israel when coming out of Egypt and into their promised land,
And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve… But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. – Joshua 24:15
On a personal note
I have been struggling with a very serious case of Lyme disease and multiple coinfections for about 10 years. As I write this (Spring 2011), I am 55 years old (part of the reason I am not bouncing back from this illness), having served as an Army Officer about 14 years, then as a Defense Contractor for another 14 years, and now an Army civilian with a major Army Command. I do (or did) a lot of field work as an environmental engineer. Went for about 6 years dealing with the illness but did not get a proper diagnosis or treatment until about 3 years ago. But by that point the damage was done. Now am only able to work part-time and in the process of applying for permanent disability. All this has placed a lot of emotional and financial stress on myself and our family.
If we have put our hope in Christ for this life only, we should be pitied more than anyone. – 1 Corinthians 15:19
I don’t bring that up to boast or to invite you to my pity party. I am finding that God does His best work in us through trials and tribulation. And that’s where prayer, God’s Word, and Christian fellowship are vitally important. While God does allow these trials for His purposes, and He rarely seems compelled to tell us why we are called to endure what we must. So it is easy to become bitter, discouraged, and check out of life when things go awry (from our perspective).
Having been a Marine and later an Army officer for many years, I can say that the elite military units are subjected to the most difficult and dangerous training. The training I went through with the Marine Corps, then Army Airborne (parachute) training and Army Ranger training was brutal. But such training is vital to prepare those elite military personnel for their duties, which far exceed what the average soldier, sailor, airman or marine is called to do. So I like to think that those of us whom God has “blessed” with particularly difficult circumstances are those who have a special calling, such as providing informed comfort to others who are suffering.
I find the book of Psalms particularly meaningful at this difficult phase of my life. I have also started working with a life coach who does chronic illness coaching. I am thankful that my “coach”, who also suffers from chronic illness, has developed a superb ministry, New Life Christian Coaching, that offers special help for those dealing with chronic illness. If you are a suffering servant, don’t try to do it alone. Link up with fellow Christians, Christian counselors, and Christian support groups, both for what you can gain and for what you can offer to others in similar circumstances.
Don’t be a Lone Ranger, Join the Team
For all who access this web site, I hope that whatever form your suffering for Christ may take, that you find comfort and encouragement in prayer, in the great promises and hope of the Bible, and in fellowship with other believers.
No chance hath brought this ill to me;
‘Tis God’s own hand, so let it be,
He seeth what I cannot see.
There is a need-be for each pain,
And He one day will make it plain
That earthly loss is heavenly gain.
Like as a piece of tapestry
Viewed from the back appears to be
Naught but threads tangled hopelessly;
But in the front a picture fair
Rewards the worker for his care,
Proving his skill and patience rare.
Thou art the Workman, I the frame.
Lord, for the glory of Thy Name,
Perfect Thine image on the same.
– Streams in the Desert
Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort. He comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any kind of affliction, through the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For as the sufferings of Christ overflow to us, so through Christ our comfort also overflows. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation. If we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which is experienced in your endurance of the same sufferings that we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that as you share in the sufferings, so you will share in the comfort.” – 2 Corinthians 1:3-7
Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. According to His great mercy, He has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and into an inheritance that is imperishable, uncorrupted, and unfading, kept in heaven for you. You are being protected by God’s power through faith for a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. You rejoice in this, though now for a short time you have had to struggle in various trials so that the genuineness of your faith—more valuable than gold, which perishes though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” – 1 Peter 1:3-7